I mentioned in my last post that I just started watching random anime; shows I have never heard of and shows that I would most likely ignore otherwise. In my game of anime roulette, I came across an OVA titled Pale Cocoon. Ok, so its not surprising that I chose this to watch if I’m going to be honest with myself and you, dear readers. It looked like it was about space and the future. I like science fiction and the unknown a space; perfect. I was also attracted to the fact that it was only 23 minutes and not another show I needed to invest myself into.
I really did not know what to expect as I generally don’t watch many OVAs and I’ve only seen one thing directed by Yasuhiro Yoshiura and that was Eve no Jikan a couple of years ago and is a must-watch. I don’t like putting spoilers in my posts but I don’t want this to sound like a Wiki post. If you’ve seen Eve no Jikan, Pale Cocoon is obviously older (2006 vs 2010) by its animation and visuals. Eve no Jikan is achingly beautifully animated and much more detailed. However, this is not to say Pale Cocoon is not detailed; its just not as beautiful which is probably purposeful as it has a very dystopian feel.
The viewer is introduced to only four characters; Ura, Riko, Yoko Yamaguchi, and an unnamed colleague of Ura. Ura, Riko, and the unnamed colleague all work in an underground colony which is the only place humans can live. It also seems quite cold where they live as they clothed in heavy layers. They all seem to suffer from depression as none have ever been above. They have never experienced the blue sky, greenery, or fresh air. You learn that they have been moving further and further down into the underground colony. The main character, Ura, throws himself into his work in the archive excavation department and dreams of a world lost and unknown to him; the fertile green of Earth.
He discovers a record that he is trynig to analyze which is a video of a Yoko Yamaguchi. He is obsessed wtih understanding it while his friend Riko wonders why he is so zealous at his job. She and his unnamed colleauge are tired of their daily grind. Their voices are flat and emotionless, fatigued. It is apparent that living in an underground colony is slowly draining them. The video of Yoko Yamaguchi leads Ura to do something he has not done before and apparently not many others. And this is where the surprise comes in at the end of this short film. One that should have been expected but it wasn’t for me. What I took from the film is what I always take from dystopian and apocalyptic films and books, humans really need to care more for our home. Any other option is undesirable.
I have missed anime this past year of wedding planning! It has been so refreshing to actually get back into watching more than one show. Last season, I was really only watching Shingeki no Kyojin on a consistent basis. I didn’t finish Aku no Hana until right after the wedding. Now I’m back to my normal four to five series with a K-Drama thrown in. Quick recap of what I’m watching: Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan), Gin no Saji (Silver Spoon), Kami sama no Inai Nichiyōbi (KnIN or Sunday without God), and Genshiken Nidaime (Genshiken Second Season). I’ve not seen the first season of Genshiken Nidaime but it doesn’t seem like I missed anything. I also just finished watching Queen of the Office which is a pretty funny K-Drama. I didn’t realize how much I missed anime until I started watching it consistently again. I’ve downloaded all these games from Steam but haven’t played them because I haven’t got the time, I must watch anime. This is also the first time I have only watched currently running shows. Usually I’m watching an older series while I’m watching the new ones because the seasons are finished but not this time. Though I guess I can actually get around to watching Clannad. It seems real popular amongst people so I want to see what all the hubbub is about; can’t recall why I never got past the first two episodes.
Last night, I went through Crunchyroll watching random anime. I just clicked on random shows and watched them. I ended up watching Parasite Dolls which is an OVA. If you’ve seen Bubblegum Crisis, you will recognize the setting. Its a three part series but I fell asleep on the third part. I watched Servant x Service which seems a bit perverted. A main point seemed to be one of the character’s abnormally large breasts and another character’s little sister with a brother complex. I probably won’t be watching that one. I’ve decided to play anime roulette. Whatever show I land on, I have to at least watch the first episode. This is actually quite fun and adds more excitement to my anime watching. Suffice it to say, my affair with anime has recommenced.
Feel free to throw out an anime you think I should watch!
Why not? If you’re stuck in the mindset that “cartoons are for kids”, that’s not a good excuse. And so what? Cartoons are fun, especially good ones! There are anime shows that are specifically targeted for children just as there are now Western cartoons specifically targeted for adults. Is watching anime weird? Only if you think so. Disclaimer: Don’t expect this post to be philosophical.
1. The characters are real. I know, I know, they are not actually flesh and blood but they’re voice actors are and the feelings they evoke in the viewer are real. That same feeling one gets from watching a move with live actors; their characters aren’t real, but people feel attached to them and identify with them. The same can be done with anime.
2. You’d be a member of a very cool group of people. Many anime fans/otakus are highly intelligent. You can generally have a good conversation with one of us; even if it may be about the importance of moe and the integral role it plays in anime. Or it may be about how Eureka Seven is the worst mecha and how dare you compare it to Gundam. We’re also a pretty friendly bunch as long as you don’t insult our favorite anime. People get real sensitive about these things. There are anime clubs, anime conventions, anime forums, anime websites; a myriad of activities to join in. Come in, the water is fine.
3. Variety. There is slice-of- life, mecha, science fiction, fantasy, josei, action, adventure, comedy, romance, parody, shonen, shojo, supernatural, mystery, sports, tournament style; I doubt the list covers them all. Whatever you’re in the mood for, there is probably an anime for it. If you saw Pacific Rim and you liked it, it was nothing more than a live action anime.
4. Escapism. Sometimes you need to get away from things using a safe and legal hobby. I like to read and watch anime. Anime is a great way of escape because you are taken to artfully created worlds that can only come from a great imagination. You are introduced to characters that you may never know but by the time it is all over, will feel that you do. You can lose yourself for at least a couple of hours or so. If I watch a good series, I generally forget about whatever problems were haunting me that day. When you’re riding public transportation; escape to a cleaner world. When you’re at a family reunion and are overwhelmed by cousins and aunts who all want to kiss you; escape to a quieter space. Of course, be conscientious about how much time you’re spending, you don’t want to be a lazy pants who doesn’t contribute to society because all you do is watch anime.
5. Cosplay. When I first started watching anime, I wasn’t aware of this fun past-time. People dressing up as their favorite characters and actually looking the part? It’s better than Halloween. Creativity and ingenuity goes into many of these costumes. Time and patience, two things I do not have are important when it comes to the creation of a great cosplay in addition to a stellar photographer (this seems to be a prerequisite). And what a perfect opportunity to see people carrying carefully crafted weapons that look real but are nothing more than plaster, a NERF gun, aluminum, spray paint, and/or duct tape. Join a fandom and you can cosplay with others and make this a social gathering. Who says watching anime is a lonesome hobby?
What are your reasons for watching anime?
Alert: Lots of speculation, spoilers (if you’re not watching and plan to or if you are behind)!
Shingeki no Kyojin, episode 17, brings back the intelligent Titans. Now after 17 episodes, it really is clear that there are other Titans like Eren. What I’m not understanding is why people in this show appear utterly clueless and surprised about the intelligent Titans. It was clear from the beginning when the Armoured Titan broke through the wall and the Colossal Titan kicked a gigantic hole in the wall. Why is it that is only Armin who seems to have a clue? Obviously, Eren’s father knows a lot but he’s not been spotted since the beginning of the first season. Is his father one of the Titans, because we are coming up to episode 18 and we have no clue. I need answers. It was all very nice to watch them train, beat up poor Eren emotionally and physically upon finding out he can transform into a Titan but there are elements that are missing for me.
The show still has not explored how Eren’s father was able to visit him in a dream, communicate with him, and leave a key with Eren. What was in the needle that he stuck in Eren? Was the substance that he injected in Eren, the substance that creates Titans? It seems obvious to me that the Titans are humans, which became apparent when Eren transformed. I am not clear the purpose of their creation; possibly population control or as one episode alluded to; possibly to make humans more reliant upon each other and not segregated. Give them a common enemy so humanity can band together as one.
Since I haven’t been on the anime boards in almost a year and I’m still catching up on anime blogs, I’m not sure what others are thinking. I’m sure the manga readers already know but I have just started reading the manga and I have no answers! The introduction of the female Titan was of monumental importance and it was clear she was very focused on a goal. She appeared to know who Armin was;
which adds to my belief that the Colossal and Armored Titans are humans that are members of the military force. Eren never mentioned again the experience when the Colossal Titan disappeared when he attacked it. He just seemed to brush it off as if it didn’t occur. He was confused for a millisecond and immediately moved on. That seemed like an important plot point; the Titan disappeared in thin air. Where did it go? The Colossal and Armored Titans have the ability to control their transformations unlike Eren. Armin has figured that they want Eren and he is close to working out why. Another plot piece ignored so far or maybe being saved for an episode in the near future is the killing of the two titans that were being experimented on. I’m pretty sure Erwin knows what happened there but he’s playing it close to the chest.
This show leaves me with a lot of questions and theories and I really hope they are answered satisfactorily. This show would be deemed a great show by me if it is resolved properly and its not given the same treatment anime has been given in the last decade. So far so good.
So I married a non-anime geek. The wedding and honeymoon is over and I am excited to get back into my weekly groove of posting! Speaking of my husband; anime fan, he is not. He will watch anime with me and he likes Shingeki no Kyojin (shocker) but other than that, he falls asleep while I’m watching anime. I wouldn’t even call him a casual watcher. He does not choose to watch any show on his own. He did watch Inuyasha and Naruto for a while but that petered out fairly quickly. Although I wish he liked anime almost as much as I did, I’m okay with him not being that much into it. Not sure if our household could handle two anime geeks. We’d get absolutely nothing done. I can spend hours watching anime. Our house would be a mess.
For those who are dating/married, are you with someone who is into anime as much as you are? I know that a couple of my readers are gamers as well; so the question is the same for you. And no, my blog is not about to turn into a married blog. Its just a topic I don’t think I’ve addressed yet. I think its great we have different interests. Makes the relationship a bit more interesting. At least he likes playing COD: Black Ops 2 with me and I think he kind of likes Mass Effect (he’d never admit it). But enough about that, I was able to watch a few shows during the planning time and I truly enjoyed them.
Aku no Hana: This did not go the way I was expecting/not expecting. In fact, I had no expectations. I had no idea what was going to happen. It was a depressing yet beautifully done show. I know people were initially bothered by the rotoscoping but if they made it past that initial jolt, its a well-crafted story. It turned out to be a coming of age story. Teenagers finding themselves in a small town. It had a good formula for my enjoyment: very little fanservice, compelling story, quirky animation, realism, and some intrigue.
Shingeki no Kyojin: I wanted to blog about this show so much and since it is still running; I may talk about it next week after the upcoming episode. Everyone I have recommended this show to, has been enjoying it and watching it as soon as it premieres. I really want to know the story behind the Titans. Honestly, I’m more interested in the Titans than I am the main characters, though I find Mikasa to be adorable. She’s one of the few characters that has life and personality to her. Eren is only exciting when he’s a Titan, other than that, he is your average male main character. Either whining, crying, or angry. Armin is usually just crying but he’s the smart one. Levi is also a pretty cool character, too. I think I need to read more of the manga to satisfy my want for more information.
I’m going to end the post here so it won’t turn into a long-winded post of pent up anime blogger thoughts. What did you all watch for the Summer? Are you ready for the Fall?